Written by: Kay Kenyon
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 418 (Mass Market Paperback)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Zoya Kundara has lived on the space vessel Star Road for two hundred fifty years. As its Ship Mother, kept alive in a state of pseudoimmortality, she has provided wisdom and counsel to succeeding generations of its crew, self-exiled survivors of earth’s great plague.
But now, to escape the ravages of space radiation, the giant starship has returned to earth, only to discover a world on the verge of extinction, its barren surface blanketed in a crystalline substance that resembles ice and that is slowly, inexorably encapsulating the planet. Zoya is chosen as emissary to this strange new earth, and now she must approach its denizens and find a suitable home for her desperate crew among the shrinking lands.
But what she finds shakes Zoya to her core: groups of humans huddled like moles in underground techno-warrens called preserves, and a pseudospiritual order known as the Ice Nuns, who seek control of the physics-defying crystals and enslave their disciples in their crazed quest for truth. For on this once green land, Ice and the science behind it are now the only God--and mastering this grand ecology of information the only higher calling. Allies are few and far between, but somehow Zoya must uncover the secrets of Ice and halt its expansion.
That is, if the snow witches don’t get her first...
Give It Away: Expectations were a little high for this one, because I've enjoyed Kenyon's recent work with The Entire and the Rose, and I liked the premise and cover a lot. Go figure. Certainly, there's a lot of interesting things in this book, namely in the world-building, but the book lacked a lot of tension that's necessary to keep the pages turning, and while I could finish the book (it wasn't unreadable), I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters or their struggles. But yet, there's some very cool things in this book, so it's worth reading if it interests you. It's just not something I'll come back to or even think about all that much now that I'm finished with it.
Review style: There's things I liked and things I didn't, so I want to talk through the story and discuss the things that worked and things that refused to stick with me, and how that left my overall impression of the book somewhat ambivalent. No spoilers, because I finished this over a week ago and have no need to get into nitty-gritty details. The full review is in my LJ for anyone interested, and as always, comments and discussion are most welcome.
REVIEW: Kay Kenyon's MAXIMUM ICE
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August: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
September: So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson